Foolproof Ways to Boost the Dental Patient Experience

There aren’t enough words to describe the importance of providing a great patient experience in modern-day dentistry. These experiences determine your credibility in the dental community and whether or not patients return for future appointments.

In this article, we’ll discuss how software, technology, and a sprinkle of kindness can help you streamline your dental office’s processes, boost the dental patient experience, and retain patients for life. 

Shifting Focus to Patient Experience 

Although routine trips to the dentist are essential in maintaining a patient’s oral health, there can be many factors that lead to difficulty in getting patients to show up for their appointments. 

In fact, a survey conducted by WestMonroe showed dental providers earning one of the lowest patient satisfaction ratings among all service-related industries, with a Net Promoter® Score of 1. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The dental care industry has an opportunity to reinvent itself by focusing on delivering the best possible experience for patients. And of course, this wouldn’t be an Intiveo blog without mentioning the benefits of leveraging technology for your practice, so without further ado, let’s see how! 

Seamless Scheduling, Appointment Reminders, and Updates

Communication is the most integral component to focus on when looking to improve the patient experience! You might be thinking, why communication? Well, the National 

Library of Medicine conducted a study on patient-centered communication and concluded that good communication skills lead to more satisfied patients. It’s safe to say that patients want to feel prepared and know exactly what to expect before, during, and after their appointments. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get in touch with patients via their preferred method of communication (text, e-mail, phone call)? Now, wouldn’t it be really great if you could overcome language barriers and send out patient reminders in several languages?

Well, with today’s technology and all its advancements, it’s not hard to find an effective patient-focused software that can help you seamlessly communicate with each and every patient. From appointment reminders to pre- and post-visit instructions, patient communication software can be customized to fit your practice’s needs. 

Long Wait Times Will Cost You 

Long wait times are a common sight in dental practices, and can result in frustrated patients. Because the longer they have to wait, the more likely they are to feel anxious or uncomfortable. In turn, this can lead to poor patient experiences that impact the credibility of your dental team and practice as a whole. 

To ensure that your patients aren’t waiting too long, consider utilizing a patient communication software to: 

  • Send health screening questionnaires to be filled out ahead of time to avoid holding up the patient intake line.
  • Attach any relevant pre-appointment instructions to be followed for ideal patient preparedness levels.
  • Chat live with your patients to update them on wait times and when you’re ready to receive them.

These features can help optimize practice workflows as well as reduce stress on your patients and your dental team. However, there can be instances when prolonged wait times are unavoidable. 

In that case, here are some of Intiveo’s best tips: 

1. Greetings

The first and last impressions of your dental practice are created by your administrative team. By greeting and acknowledging each patient as they enter the room, it shows that you value them as individuals and are glad that they chose your practice over others!

2. Check In With Patients

It’s easy to get caught up in your work, especially during busy days. Even so, make sure to check in with your patients every 15-20 minutes so they know you haven’t forgotten about them and aren’t ignoring them. 

3. Keep Them Busy

Give them something to do while they wait. Offer a separate Wi-Fi network that patients can connect to, reading material such as books and magazines, and water in case they get thirsty. This will help pass the time more quickly and keep patients’ mind off how long they’ve been waiting. 

4. Be Flexible

Have your team be understanding and flexible when it comes to rescheduling appointments due to the long wait times. 

Social Reviews and Feedback 

According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Survey 2022, online reviews are one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a dental provider. As a result, dental providers should be aware of how patient reviews affect the dental patient experience, and how they can leverage online reviews to benefit the practice.

A patient communication software with a tool that can request patient feedback is a great investment for your practice. When patients see others leaving five-star reviews, it helps boost confidence in their dental providers- ultimately resulting in optimal patient outcomes. 

In fact, Marcotte Dentistry utilized Intiveo’s Patient Communication Software and saw a 43% increase in online patient reviews.

But what happens when patients haven’t felt like they received exemplary service? A great patient communication software would encourage your patients to leave constructive feedback directly to the dental practice. Constructive feedback is just as important as the positive ones. Why? Because they help guide your practice on what you need to improve in order to provide the best experiences possible. 

An added bonus: A search engine like Google trusts word-of-mouth marketing. Therefore, positive patient reviews help improve search rankings and higher visibility scores for the dental practice! 

 

Some Takeaways

The patient experience is paramount to the overall success of a dental practice. Choosing the right patient communication software can allow your team to focus on making your patients feel welcome and comfortable. 

However, we shouldn’t leave all patient communication efforts up to software and technology. Your dental team also has an important role in making sure that patients feel at ease during their visit. They should be prepared to explain procedures correctly, answer questions directly and provide a safe environment for everyone in the practice. 

With these factors in place, your dental practice has all the tools it needs to provide positive patient experiences and great treatment outcomes. 

Curious to see how Intiveo can help boost your dental patient experience? Book a meeting with us today!